IT’S lift off for 1,800 houses at Dunsfold Aerodrome, after Communities Secretary Sajid Javid approved outline plans on appeal on Thursday afternoon - at the same time dismissing plans for more than 350 homes in the Farnham area.

The Secretary of State called in the Dunsfold Park application in March 2017 and has now agreed with the planning inspector’s recommendation, following a lengthy public inquiry last summer, that consent should be granted.

Dunsfold Aerodrome is the largest brownfield site in Waverley and is allocated for 2,600 new houses in Waverley’s Local Plan.

The Secretary of State's decision will therefore come as a huge relief to the borough council, as the allocation of 2,600 homes at the airfield plays a key role in Waverley meeting its increased housing targets.

It also relieves the pressure to build on further green spaces in the borough, particularly in the Farnham and Cranleigh areas - and also on Thursday, Mr Javid upheld Waverley's refusal of planning permission for three developments in Farnham:

* 157 homes by Wates Developments Ltd in Waverley Lane (WA/2015/0771),

* 56 homes by T Webber Cove Construction Ltd in Monkton Lane (WA/2015/1484), and

* 140 homes by Bewley Homes Plc in Lower Weybourne Lane (WA/2014/0391).

Dunsfold Park aerodrome is currently home to Dunsfold Business Park, which accommodates over 100 businesses employing more than 900 people. Under the approved plans the business park, currently Waverley’s largest employment site, would be expanded to create new jobs.

Welcoming the news, Dunsfold Park Chief Executive Jim McAllister said: “This is a very positive decision. The development of Dunsfold Aerodrome will provide homes for all sections of the community including young families currently priced out of the area, create new jobs and deliver a range of new community facilities together with infrastructure improvements. We look forward to working with Waverley Borough Council to progress the detail.”

See next week's Herald for more analysis and reaction to the Communities Secretary's decision...